Maps - Security and Care
All maps should be considered as documents that require special handling. If a map falls into unauthorized hands, it could easily endanger military operations by providing information of friendly plans or areas of interest to the enemy. Even more important would be a map on which the movements or positions of friendly soldiers were marked. It is possible, even though the markings on a map have been erased, to determine some of the information that had been marked upon it. Maps are documents that must not fall into unauthorized hands.
a. If a map is no longer needed, it must be turned in to the proper authority. If a map is in danger of being captured, it must be destroyed. The best method of destruction is by burning it and scattering the ashes. If burning is not possible, the map can be torn into small pieces and scattered over a wide area.
b. Maps of some areas of the world are subject to third party limitations. These are agreements that permit the United States to make and use maps of another country provided these maps are not released to any third party without permission of the country concerned. Such maps require special handling.
c. Some maps may be classified and must be handled and cared for in accordance with AR 3805 and, if applicable, other local security directives.
Maps are documents printed on paper and require protection from water, mud, and tearing. Whenever possible, a map should be carried in a waterproof case, in a pocket, or in some other place where it is handy for use but still protected.
a. Care must also be taken when using a map since it may have to last a long time. If it becomes necessary to mark a map, the use of a pencil is recommended. Use light lines so they may be erased easily without smearing and smudging, or leaving marks that may cause confusion later. If the map margins must be trimmed for any reason, it is essential to note any marginal information that may be needed later, such as grid data and magnetic declination.
b. Special care should be taken of a map that is being used in a tactica1 mission, especially in small units; the mission may depend on that map. All members of such units should be familiar with the map's location at all times.
c. Appendix B shows two ways of folding a map.